Linux Can Boot On Apple's M1 Pro But More Work Remains
Written by Michael Larabel in Apple on 2 November 2021 at 06:37 PM EDT. 16 Comments
APPLE --
Last month Apple announced the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs while already the very latest Linux patches originally written for the Apple M1 that launched last year paired with some small changes is allowing the open-source platform to boot on the M1 Pro MacBook.

Hector Martin with the Asahi Linux project has been working on bringing up Apple's newest hardware under Linux via crowd-funding. Today he was able to get Linux booted to a shell on the M1 Pro MacBook with working USB ports. With some changes on top of all the other Linux M1 work carried out over the past year by Hector and others, he was able to achieve this milestone relatively quickly.

He has confirmed SMP, IRQs, IPIs, frame-buffer console, DART, USB (including power delivery), I2C, and GPIO as working with the M1 Pro. Next up he is looking more at PCI Express, especially for bringing up SD card reader and WiFi support. There also isn't yet storage support but the hope is that won't be a big burden. Keyboard and trackpad support for the Apple M1 also is still relying on a proof-of-concept SPI driver.

As with the Apple M1 from last year, the massive elephant in the room remains bringing up the Apple M1 graphics with a DRM kernel driver and OpenGL/Vulkan drivers that are good enough for day-to-day use if really wanting to enjoy Linux on M1 class hardware. Work is underway there but obviously is a huge undertaking if wanting performant and full-featured graphics acceleration.

In any event, it's great to see the M1 Pro already being able to boot Linux and that there are no massive changes required over the M1 Linux work going on since last year.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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